MIDDLESBROUGH are confident Adama Traore is happy on Teesside and focused on preparing for the new season.

Traore returned to the North-East with the rest of the Boro squad on Friday after spending the week in Austria working on fitness and team bonding.

The former Aston Villa man has been the subject of plenty speculation since the end of the season, with a host of Premier League clubs known to be interested in him.

Traore has shown a fantastic attitude with the group in Austria and manager Tony Pulis has been impressed with his approach, including when he started the 1-0 defeat to Sturm Graz on Thursday.

Pulis would love to have him on board as he looks to drive Middlesbrough to promotion in the Championship.

Huddersfield and Wolves are the latest two clubs to have been linked with Traore this week, after it was revealed he has a release clause in his contract.

But it is understood there has not been any concrete offers during a summer when the likes of Chelsea and Newcastle are also expected to make a move.

Pulis is gearing up his squad for the new season while looking at ways of adding to it.

Extra cash raised from player sales will help Pulis’ own recruitment drive having signed Paddy McNair and Aden Flint so far. Offloading Traore, though, is not something he nor Middlesbrough want to do.

Premier League clubs are also expected to test the water for Ben Gibson in the weeks ahead.

Everton’s interest in Gibson has been long-standing but there are fresh reports that they are ready to step things up after identifying him and Swansea’s Alfie Mawson as two Championship defenders worth targeting.

Marco Silva, the Everton manager, is looking to make additions and strengthening the defence is a priority.

Barcelona’s Colombian defender Mina, who scored and impressed against England, is top of their list too and a £21m offer has been rejected so far.

Middlesbrough are not interested in allowing Britt Assombalonga and Martin Braithwaite to leave on the cheap this summer.

Braithwaite continues to attract interest from abroad and Assombalonga, who missed the defeat to Graz with a niggle, has

Birmingham City, Leeds United and Swansea City keen.

Nottingham Forest were also linked but are on the verge of landing former Sunderland loanee Lewis Grabban for £6m. Nothing is imminent and Boro would resist allowing one of the division’s most prolific strikers to leave on loan.

It was reported there had been a bust-up between Assombalonga and Pulis on the training ground in Austria this week, although sources close to the travelling party insist there was nothing serious to it.